Keeping Those Male Clients
By ASCP Staff
If you’ve been an esthetician for any length of time, you have probably considered expanding your business by delving into marketing to male clientele. It’s been said that male clients are less concerned with service prices than female clients, they may purchase more home care products, they typically tip better than females, and they tend to stay loyal. You want your share of the male market, so you’ve actively begun your marketing campaign, yet you are finding that men are coming through your door, but they aren’t coming back. No matter what you try, he’s just not that into you. What’s up?
If you’re starting to think these male clients just aren’t into skin care, think again. In 2020, men outspent women on skin care by $10 a month. By 2022, it’s predicted that men will spend $166 billion annually on skin care, a growth rate of 5.4 percent from 2016–2022. Men have the same concerns with their skin that women do—aging and acne. Compound that with not taking care of their skin, and they end up with sun damage, dry skin, and ingrown hair.
So, if he came into your spa once for a service, why isn’t he coming back?
You’re concerned he just isn’t into you. But have you given any thought about what you have done that proves you’re really into him and his skin care needs? Sure, you tried to make him comfortable entering your spa. You might have even tried talk with him about Sunday’s pro football games or about the best local brew pub with him to put him at ease. You get an “A” for effort, but every other esthetician trying to pull in male clientele has covered that ground. So, what’s the secret?
What do male clients want?
As mentioned, antiaging services are becoming more popular with men as the baby boomers are starting to see those fine lines and wrinkles. Men are now seeking laser and microdermabrasion treatments, chemical peels, Botox injections, and dermal fillers. They are concerned with acne and are willing to spend money on a series of treatments and an extensive home care regimen. Another service growing in popularity for male clients is brow shaping. They are looking for clean lines, trimming those long, unruly hairs, and perhaps buying some gel to get wild brows under control. No more unibrow!
If you are going to market to men, make sure you’re offering the services they’re looking for. You may not be able to afford to offer laser services, but a series of chemical peels and/or microdermabrasion will certainly give them the results they’re looking for.
How can I create a male-friendly atmosphere?
Remember that men are seeking skin care results, but they also want a quiet place of refuge where they feel they belong. You don’t have to redecorate your spa, but subtle changes can make all the difference. Take a hard look at your treatment menu and make certain the service descriptions are gender neutral. Do you need to add services, such as a beard facial? Does your skin care line offer products specifically formulated for men? Do any of your marketing materials feature pictures of men? Include reading materials in your waiting area that will appeal to men.
During your client consultation, make sure you ask the right questions so you can give your male clients exactly the service and the results they want. With the male market, communication can be tricky but even more crucial. If they don’t feel as though you understand their skin care concerns, or they aren’t seeing the results they hoped for, they won’t come back. Encourage honest feedback from them after the service. They most certainly will purchase products to take home, so check in with them after they’ve used the products for a few days to make sure they are satisfied with them.
Hanging a masculine shingle outside your spa to say you’re accepting male clients might bring one or two inside, but they just won’t be that into you until you give them what they’re into—great-looking skin.
Opening Pandora’s Box
Just a few warnings before you dive into the male market:
- Just as with your female clients, it’s important to get male clients to prebook for their next appointment, especially if they are doing a series of treatments. Encourage them to put a reminder in their calendar on their phone.
- While rumor has it that male clients are more loyal than female clients, be aware that skin care is booming as an industry. There are more estheticians and spas out there than ever existed before, and many of them are beginning to cater to men. Men have an abundance of options. You must pay attention to retention (and give great service and skin care!).
Salon Retail for Men
Men love convenience; the more you make it convenient, the more likely they will buy.
What do you have on your retail shelves for the guys? If don’t have anything to sell beyond fruity or flowery-smelling products to offer for home care, you aren’t going to make many sales to the male market. Here are some ideas to help you prepare your retail shelves with gender-neutral items to enhance your male retail offering.
Deodorant. Offer a unique brand to send the message that everything you have on your retail shelves is special and necessary.
Aftershave and shave cream. Your skin care line may offer these products, and your male clients will love taking these professional products home with them.
Sunscreen. Essential for ALL your clients, male and female, but especially for your male clients who are concern about aging and terrible about using sunscreen. Remind them to use sunscreen on not only their face, but hands, tips of the ears and any balding spots up top.
Fragrance-free cleanser/toner/eye serum. Explain the benefits of each of these products, and they will appreciate your recommendations for home care, knowing that a home-care regimen will help them achieve their skin care goals. And, they will love the convenience of buying them all from you at once, not be scratching their heads at the Walmart cosmetic counter.
If you follow these suggestions, your male clients WILL be into you—and you will reap the benefits of expanding your potential client base ten-fold!
For more information on male clients, read Make the Man in the November | December 2021 issue of ASCP Skin Deep magazine.